As the new and incredibly-fast kids on the block, solid-state drives get a lot of attention these days—particularly as they get large enough to handle the average user's everyday needs without the services of a second drive. However, there are many usage scenarios where a drive's size matters more than its speed. For these applications, Seagate has new high-capacity hard drives coming to market relatively soon, with the largest of them reaching 16TB.
In an earnings call this week, Seagate's CEO Steve Luczo revealed that the company will release those drives in the next 12 to 18 months. Seagate also has plans to expand the number of different capacity points that it offers its customers. Today, its highest-capacity drive is a 10TB model, but Luczo revealed that Seagate already has a 12TB product in customers' hands for evaluation. The drive seems to be performing up to standards, seeing as the company has plans for releasing 14TB and 16TB models.
Luczo indicated that demand for higher-capacity hard drives is coming from several different markets. Companies deploying cloud-based storage have been good customers for Seagate, but the consumer market has also been growing. Specifically, Seagate points out that consumers are looking for high-capacity drives for surveillance and network-attached storage systems.
Looking forward, Luczo mentioned 20TB drives as a possibility, but primarily to remind its investors that creating these drives has and will require a significant investment of time and resources. It's impressive that a drive of that size is even part of the conversation, however, considering that we were just speculating about drives hitting these capacities a mere five years ago.